|A Huangshan Mountain Porter Showing the Strain of His Labor|
|Malaysian Rubber Plantation Workers Offload Raw Latex at Field Station|
|Malaysian Rubber plantation Weigh-In Station|
As I wrote in yesterday's blog, Huangshan Mountain receives over 15 million visitors a year. It is a national park so there are certain environmental as well as land use restriction placed upon the area. Access to the upper reaches of the peaks is by cable cars or hiking up trails. As tourists on a three week tour we took the cable cars up and down the mountains.
We originally stayed in the Cloud Valley, elevation 890 meters (2,920 feet) at the base of the mountains. We spent one night on the mountain at the Bei Hai Guest House, elevation 1,630 meters (5,347 feet). To get to the Bei Hai Guest House we took an 8 minute approximately 2,500 foot ascent by way of cable car. Needless to say, the view and scenery were spectacular. Since we were only spending one night on the mountain we took only a small overnight bag with us. The remainder of our luggage remained in storage in the Cloud Valley.
At the terminus of the cable car, we were greeted by porters who offered to carry luggage up to the hotel(s). I don't know if I was cheap, proud, or a masochist but I ended up carrying my backpack of camera gear on my back and lugging our overnight carry-on sized bag the twenty minutes UP to the hotel. The porters typically carried 6 to 8 bags distributed 3 to 4 bags on the ends of a bamboo pole carried across their shoulders. I estimate that they were carrying roughly 120 to 160 pounds of luggage each. In addition they were constantly passing me up the paved trail and stairs to the hotel area. That was my introduction to the hard working mountain porters of Huangshan.
|Porters Hauling Supplies to Observation Station On Huangshan Mountain|
|Food On Its Way to the Observatory|
|Fresh Food Arriving at the Observatory|
|The Porter's Cargo Is Carefully Weighed and Recorded|
I made so inquiries regarding the porters and was told that they make two round trips a day. Two round trips a day? On a good day I think that I might make it up from the valley to the hotel but without an load. These guys carry approximately 800 pounds of stuff up almost 1-1/2 miles and down 1-1/2 miles in elevation during a day - everyday. I do not know what their total mileage for a day is but I find just the accumulation of elevation change to be impressive - definitely a great deal more work than I have ever done in any day with or without the cargo on their shoulders.
|A Porter Approaches the Bei Hai Guest House with His Cargo|
|A Porter Prepares His Load for the Trek Down from Bei Hai Gust House|
|Kitchen Supplies Arriving at the Bei Hai Guest House|
|Back Door Delivery of Beer, Soft Drinks, and Cooking Oil|
|An Old Man of the Mountain|
|An Elderly Porter Delivers His Goods|
|A Busy Day On the Mountain|
Observing people such as the mountain porters of Huangshan makes one appreciate their own choice and definitely the opportunities available to us to earn an easier living . In witnessing their labor, I could not help but to respect them more and admire their abilities.
|Never Too Busy or Too Tired to Not Smile|